Current Projects


Professor Philip Brenner: 2013–2015 Principal Investigator, Investigating Bias in Survey Measures of Religious Behavior Using Cognitive Interviews. The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Jack Shand Research Award. $5,000. This research uses cognitive interviewing to investigate the source of bias in survey measures of religious behaviors.

Professor Xiaogang Deng: 2014–2015 Principal Investigator, Examining Effects of Guanxi Networks as an Informal Institutional Factor on Corruption in China. Harvard University, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. $25,000. This project examines why social relationships are fundamentally important to the understanding of corruption in the Chinese context.

Professor Stephanie Hartwell: 2013–2015 Co-Principal Investigator/Lead Evaluator, MISSION-IRAPS (integration, re-entry and peer support). Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Second Chance Act. $75,649. This project assists medium- and high-risk offenders with co-occurring substance use and mental health conditions re-entering communities in greater Boston.

Professor Stephanie Hartwell: 2014–2015 Investigator, A Culturally Appropriate Mindfulness Intervention for Survivors of Homicide: A Community-Based Participatory Research Project. NIH / National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, $5,180.

Professor Stephanie Hartwell: 2008–2014 Co-Investigator/Lead Evaluator, MISSION Direct Vet: Jail Diversion, Trauma, and Recovery. SAMHSA/Center for Mental Health Services, $2,168,000. This multi-site federal evaluation compares specialized jail diversion programs for veterans with trauma and substance abuse histories diversion from the criminal justice system across states.

Professor Stephanie Hartwell: 2013–2016 Lead Evaluator, Boston Offender Needs Delivery Program. SAMHSA/Center for Mental Health Services, $75,000. Creating a specialized re-entry program focusing on vocational services for ethnic minority men and women exiting prison.

Professor Andrea Leverentz: 2013–2016  Principal Investigator, The Influences of Place in the Desistance from Crime and Reintegration of Adult Former Prisoners. National Science Foundation, $315,411.

Professor Russell K. Schutt: 2012–2016 Co-Investigator, Improving Outcomes for Homeless Veterans with Peer Support. Veterans Health Administration, $84,400. (Prime award: $1,098,060.) This research investigates the value of peer support for improving housing retention and other outcomes for homeless veterans with mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Professor Russell K. Schutt: 2015 Co-Investigator, Graduate Assistance for Improving Outcomes for Homeless Veterans. Veterans Health Administration, $21,065. (Prime award: $1,098,060.) This award funds a Doctoral student to assist with research investigating the value of peer support for improving housing retention and other outcomes for homeless veterans with mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Professor Heather Zaykowski and Professor Stephanie Hartwell: 2011–2015 Co-Investigator and Consultant, Ending Chronic Homelessness Through Permanent Housing, Integrated Treatment, Case Management and Peer Support in Western and Central Massachusetts. U.S. DHHS/SAMHSA, $74,703.

Professor Heather Zaykowksi: 2013–2015 Lead Evaluator, REACH Co-Occurring Disorders & Continuing Treatment Project. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, $104,910. This program is designed to address the high prevalence of depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders identified in juveniles referred for substance abuse treatment.



Professor Bianca Bersani: 2013–2014 Principal Investigator, Narrating the Life Course: Understanding the Mechanisms Underpinning Desistance from Crime. UMass Boston Proposal Development Grant. $10,000.

Professor Philip Brenner: 2013–2014 Principal Investigator, Investigating Causes of Bias in Survey Measures of Physical Exercise Using a Novel SMS/Text Message Chronological Data Collection Procedure. UMass Boston Healey Grant. $7,500. This research compares reports of physical exercise from (1) conventional survey questions and (2) a novel chronological data collection procedure to a criterion measure to investigate sources of response bias.

Professor Stephanie Hartwell: 2014–2015 Co-Principal Investigator, Developing a Culturally Appropriate Mindfulness Intervention for Inner-City Survivors of Violence Through Community Engagement. UMass President's Office Creative Economies Award. $25,715.

Professor Glenn Jacobs: 2012–2014 Principal Investigator, Gentrification and Representation: Hi-Lo, Whole Foods and Latinos in Jamaica Plain. UMass Boston Healey Grant. $11,952. This project looks at the effects of the removal of a large Latino supermarket on extant shopping patterns as these relate to local residents' perceptions of present and future neighborhood changes.

Professor Leslie Wang: 2013–2014 Principal Investigator, Searching for Birth Parents: The Experiences of Adopted Chinese Adolescents. UMass Boston Institute for Asian American Studies Research Fellowship. $3,000.

Professor Leslie Wang: 2014–2015 Principal Investigator, Bridging Global Superpowers: Return Migration of Second-Generation Chinese American Professionals to China. UMass Boston Healey Grant. $7,500.